The tobacco company that owns Marlboro is hoping to boost business by investing $1.8 billion in a marijuana company.
Media outlets report Altria made the deal Friday with Canadian cannabis company Cronos group. The investment will give Altria a 45 percent stake in the company, with an option for Altria to increase its stake to 55 percent over the next five years.
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The deal may have been prompted by stagnant cigarette sales -- CNN reports Altria's stock has fallen nearly 25 percent this year and the company is expected to report revenue growth of only about 1 percent this year and in 2019.
Cronos shares rose more than 30 percent early Friday. Altria shares were up 2 percent.
Altria CEO Howard Willard said in a statement that the investment "represents an exciting new growth opportunity for Altria."
Altria isn't the first company to make a big investment in marijuana. In August, Corona Beer owner Constellation Brands invested $4 billion in cannabis company Canopy Growth Corporation.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.